A day after Mumbai Metro Rail Corp Ltd (MMRC) told Supreme Court that it no more trees will be axed in Aarey Colony for the construction of a car shed and depot, the prohibitory orders imposed in view of protests over cutting of trees have been lifted on Tuesday, police said.
“Following the decision of High Court on October 4 upholding permission of Tree Authority the felling of 2,185 trees was undertaken on October 4 and 5, 2019 and as on date, 2,141 trees have been felled. These will be cleared from the site and subsequent construction activities will be carried out,” MMRC said.
Normalcy has been returned to the area where the movement of people and transport has resumed, said police. The police had imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) on Saturday which bans unlawful assembly in the area.
Mumbai Police spokesperson Pranay Ashok told PTI, “Today we have lifted Section 144 in Aarey Colony; now everything is normal in the area.”
Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court restrained authorities from cutting any more trees in Mumbai’s Aarey colony for a Metro car shed. The order for status quo was given by a bench specially constituted after the apex court took suo motu (on its own) cognisance of a letter petition addressed to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi by law student Rishav Ranjan seeking a stay on felling of trees in the colony. The apex court is on a week-long Dussehra break from Monday.
The court said its forest bench would take up the matter for further hearing on October 21.
The tree cutting by Mumbai Metro began on October 4 hours after the Bombay High Court dismissed petitions seeking forest tag for the Aarey Colony and a stay on the civic body’s permission to clear the area of vegetation to set up the depot.